Rome Photo Essay: The Time When You Meet Pope Francis

Monday, June 30, 2014 0 Comments

Rome Photo Essay: When You Meet Pope Francis

I anticipated one life-changing event when I went to Rome for the very first time.

I was looking forward to seeing, to hearing, or maybe to even meeting the Pope. You know, shake hands, and chat about the Lord and all. And, I thought to myself that this would be the ultimate highlight of my trip. I thought to myself that if the universe brought me to Europe, and the universe will conspire to help me check that off. That this life changing moment will be the time I’ll finally shed some involuntary tears of Joy. Like when a kid sees Disney Land. Yes, maybe that kind of happiness.

It happened, but it wasn’t like how we’d expect happiness and universe to do its works.


For nearly five tedious hours of waiting, drenched with the European morning sunlight, filled with sundry of eager languages from all corners of the St. Peter’s Basilica, we all waited for Pope Francis. The weather was cooperative for the most part of the day, all warm and friendly. The atmosphere was even better, all cool and sociable. If you’re new to the place, it looks surreal, but for the most part – people doesn’t seem to notice it – it’s just like an ordinary backdrop.

As soon as the papal window’s burst open and the rustic sound of the Pope echoed across the whole of Vatican City, everything went silent and everyone’s goose bumps went all out. With the Pope located a few meters above sea level, and with nearly fifteen minutes that seemed to have stopped time, and everyone was listening fervently to the Pope’s voice, even if not everyone understood what he was saying.

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Experiencing the Angelus with Pope Francis changed not only my life, but also the lives of the ten thousands of everyone else who came to that ordinary Sunday. People were cheering, people were weeping. People were all there, present and hopeful. In concerts, in birthdays, in open events, the level of happiness and satisfaction are almost the same – but here, you could feel the difference. Who would have thought that such a regular daily prayer could give an impact so surreal and so prevailing as that?


I appreciate and understand when people say that it’s difficult to put something into words. There really are those kinds of moments, no matter how short or simple it may be, it still will be a life changing moment.

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Bowdy is an amateur adventurer, a coffee sleepyhead, and a start-up rooter, with a penchant for classic-looking photos. At last count, he has visited some 52 countries, and is now living in Singapore. He's always in search of fascinating routines to exploit, within the edges of after-office hours and (un)limited holidays.

For collaboration ideas, email bowdywanders@gmail.com.

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